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Historic McCray school to get a face-lift after ABSS go-ahead

The McCray School, a one-room schoolhouse on the outskirts of east Burlington that Samuel Bradshaw built in 1915 to educate the community’s black children, is likely to get a facelift later this year from a nonprofit organization that has led similar efforts to renovate historic properties just over the state line, in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

“A lot of folks don’t realize we still own a one-room school house for African-American children,” ABSS assistant superintendent of operations Todd Thorpe told school board members during a presentation earlier this month.

“There was a period when students went out there for a quick lesson, or to review history,” Thorpe said. A U.S. flag displayed on a wall inside the former one-room school house “only has 48 stars,” he noted.

Story continues below photos.

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In the meantime, Thorpe is offering to open the McCray School for anyone who may be interested in touring it. The schoolhouse, which he estimated to be more than 100 years old, spans 468 square feet and sits on about an acre of land at 4460 North N.C. Highway 62. “Records at the time were not kept as clear as they are today,” Thorpe said.

Another McCray “find” in previous coverage in The Alamance News:

School board members voted unanimously two weeks ago to approve Thorpe’s recommendation to hire Calland’s Historical Restoration, a nonprofit based in Chatham, Virginia, to lead a community fundraising effort that would fund what Thorpe described as “minor repairs and renovations” to the McCray School.

No funds will be required from ABSS to complete the work, Thorpe said.

The nonprofit recently renovated “the Old Callands Post Office,” about 14 miles west of Chatham, Virginia in Pittsylvania County, according to Dale Aaron, who owns Calland’s Historical Restoration. Aaron told school board members two weeks ago that his organization would begin soliciting contributions from companies and private donors in Alamance County right away to fund the renovation.

The estimated fundraising budget for the renovations to the McCray School is $10,000, Thorpe confirmed for The Alamance News.

The latest appraised value for the building and land totals $35,486, according to Alamance County’s tax department.

School board members subsequently voted 7-0 to approve Thorpe’s recommendation to hire Calland’s Historical Restoration to oversee the McCray School renovation.

The McCray School was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986, according to the national register.

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